Anime Review: Haunted Junction

It’s been a while since I’ve done an anime review! So far, I have only reviewed current anime. This time, I’m going to write about a classic throwback that many of you might not have heard of, but it’s definitely one I strongly recommend. And so, I present to you….Haunted Junction!! h4

Haunted Junction is a supernatural comedy from 1997, only 12 episodes long. The main character, Haruto Houjou, is the president of Saito High School’s Holy Student Council. Unlike an ordinary school council, this one is dedicated to protecting the school from evil spirits and using the seven school spirits to fight against said evil.

The Plot and People (and spirits!)

Along with Haruto are Mutsuki Asahina, a shrine maiden with a scarily aggressive shotacon (basically, she likes little boys), and Kazumi Ryudo, a Buddhist monk who’s constantly possessed by the spirits of pretty much anything that happens to pass by. They are led by the Chairman, a tiny old man who happens to be one of the school spirits and has a knack for collecting haunted artifacts.

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The other school spirits include:

-Nino: an intelligent little boy who is frequently targeted by Mutsuki’s little boy complex.

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-Bones and Haruo: These two always appear together, since they are the bones and internal organs of an anatomical model of the human body. h6

-Red Mantle: a male spirit clad in a red cape and white eye mask, whose charms are irresistible to women.

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-Giant: A giant foot. You only see him from the knee down.

-Mirror Girl: a sweet little girl who lives in a mirror. h7

-Toilet Hanako: a beautiful girl who lives in a toilet and is Kazumi’s obsession. h8

While Kazumi and Mutsuki find their job cool, exciting, and a good excuse to cut class, Haruto desperately desires a normal school life, to have a normal girlfriend and normal career. Though he is the son of a Christian priest, Haruto doesn’t possess any supernatural powers other than the ability to see spirits and summon the school spirits from the badges they are sealed within, and is therefore needed by the student council.

The Review

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The series is fairly short, so if you watch it all the way through and hate it, you’ve only wasted 6 hours of your life. While I personally loved Haunted Junction, it’s one of those shows that you’ll either love or hate. The show is bat shit crazy, filled with plenty of gags and “WTF?” moments….which you will either love or hate.

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The gags are all totally unexpected. I find that a lot of anime have very predictable and similar jokes. My favorite thing about watching the show was having absolutely no idea what to expect at any given moment. Whether it’s a silly looking monster, an unexpected plot twist, or a ridiculous quote, there’s never a dry moment. If the humor isn’t your thing, there’s still the battles between the council members and evil spirits to hold your attention. h3

Each episode follows a different story line (with the exception of the last couple), so I recommend watching at least 3-4 episodes. It took me a few episodes to actually get what the show was about, since I wasn’t sure if it was going to follow one plot or do something new for each episode. If you don’t like the first episode, there’s a chance one of the other plots will be more appealing to you. I really dislike long plots that last for several episodes, so the pacing of Haunted Junction was perfect for me. But if you really, really, really don’t like the show, at least the cool theme songs will make it feel worthwhile.

Have you ever seen Haunted Junction? Did you love it or hate it? Or are you really eager to check it out! Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section! Thanks for reading~

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WRITING UPDATE!! Maria is going to meet an editor! Way cool!

Title says all, folks!

For those curious about what I am doing with my life as a writer, I will be attending Crypticon 2015 next month for a one-on-one editing session with the Editor-in-Chief of Blysster Press! Crypticon is my local horror convention and Blysster Press is a local publishing company for all things dark and spooky. I submitted the first chapter of my first book to them, and come Crypticon they will have edits and revisions to discuss with me.

I’m really excited to attend, as this will be my first time at a writer’s conference and meeting with an editor. I’m looking forward to learning lots of great tips for improving my manuscript, but I’m also pretty nervous to hear a professional person tell me why my writing sucks. Overall, I think it will be a very beneficial experience!

As I mentioned in my “about me” section of my blog, I am an aspiring novelist working on an urban dark fantasy series. I started writing my first book Midnight Waltz when I was in middle school (stay tuned for a blog on what it’s about!). Since then, I wrote two (working on the third) sequels and made countless revisions. After passing my manuscript along to my friends and peers from writer groups, I feel that I am ready to look for publishers, agents, and get started on my query letter and synopsis.

I’m currently not sure if I want to be published by a big company or a smaller one like Blysster Press. Along with getting professional tips on improving my story, I hope that meeting with Blysster’s editor will help me make a decision.

But enough about me. I want to hear from YOU! Have you ever met with an editor at a writing conference? How was your experience? Are you a published author, and if yes, what publishing route did you choose? Please let me know by commenting below!

Thanks for stopping by!

Spring Conventions and Cosplay! part 2: Sakura-con 2015

Welcome back for more convention rants! In my previous post, I ranted about Emerald City Comicon and posted some cosplay photos. This rant will be very similar, but is dedicated to my favorite convention: Sakura-con.

Though I have been attending since 2007, this was my first year going as a press member, as my boyfriend Keegan and I were co-writing an article for our newspaper.  We were able to interview Vic Mignogna (voice of Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamaki Suoh in Ouran High School Host Club), Bryce Papenbrook (voice of Kirito in Sword Art Online, Eren Jaeger in Attack on Titan), and Hiromi Kato (director of Death Note, Tsubasa). Please check out our article here!: http://www.dailyuw.com/arts_and_leisure/article_657c02f6-ddac-11e4-af9d-4bcbfc27cd9e.html

Along with interviews, we also got to check out some cool panels held by voice actors, party at the concerts and dances, and spent way more money than we should have at the vendor’s hall.

And, of course, we cosplayed.

DAY 0: Misa Amane (Death Note)

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Since I did her popular anime outfit for Emerald City Comicon, I decided to do her outfit from the cover of manga volume 4 for Sakura-con day 0 (badge pickup and casual photo shoot day, no actual con-run activities). As I said in my last post, I used my wig for Lucy from Fairy Tail. The top is a basic black tank top – I hot glued on the zippers. The rest is made up from clothing and accessories I already owned, purchased from Hot Topic, Spencer’s, and thrifting. I unfortunately was unable to make the blades on the gloves due to lack of time :/

DAY 1: Shiemi Moriyama with Keegan as Yukio Okumura (Blue Exorcist)

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DAY 2: Sakura Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura)

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Just an FYI, I’m the one in the white with the star wand. I didn’t really do much work on the actual cosplay. I bought it on eBay and had it slightly altered to fit better. The Kero plush is actually a backpack, purchased at my local anime store. I did, however, make the wand from scratch with Keegan. I did all the painting, he did the crafting. The stick is wood, painted pink. The circle is a knitting hoop, also painted pink. The little wings are felt, hot glued to the circle. Keegan made the star from paperclay, along with the circular connecting part and the little bottom piece, then I painted them. Paperclay is super sturdy once it dries – I highly recommend it for cosplay crafting. It air dries to be rock hard, so you can use it to fuse any materials together without worrying about them melting in an oven.

***In the evening of Day 2, I was Junko Enoshima and Keegan was Makoto Naegi from Dangan Ronpa. However, my photographer is currently working on editing photos from Sakura-con, so I will upload those at a later time! He also has some of me in my Sakura cosplay. Stay tuned~~~!***

DAY 3: Lucy Heartfilia (Fairy Tail)

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For the final day, I was Lucy. Pretty simple cosplay, but fun and comfortable for the last day of an exhausting weekend. I originally planned to make the cosplay from scratch, but I found it on eBay for really cheap, so I figured it’d be more economical to just buy it. I bought the keys separately at my local anime store and I got the whip at Value Village around Halloween. I had Keegan draw my tattoo on my hand with a pink highlighter – it stayed on really well, but I don’t think it’s really visible in these pictures due to the distance and lighting. The Happy is a huge plush backpack I bought from my friend.

And so you have it! My spring conventions and cosplays! Stay tuned for pictures from my private photo shoots! 🙂 In the meantime, I am already planning my next cosplays….updates coming soon! If you have any questions about Sakura-con or my cosplays, or have a cool story about cons and cosplays that you’d like to share, please post a comment!

Spring Conventions and Cosplay! part 1: Emerald City Comicon

Hey, everyone! Long time, no post! I’ve been SUPER busy with my convention going (see previous blog post), but now the spring con season has come to an end.

To recap, Emerald City Comicon (eccc) was at the very end of March, and Sakura-con was this past weekend. I will split the posts into two blogs, starting with eccc. I wanted to make this eccc post last week, but I was very busy with school and work. I will post my Sakura-con blog by the end of this week, so stay tuned!

EMERALD CITY COMICON

…It was nuts! SO. MANY. PEOPLE. I worked on staff for half the day with programming. My job was to hang out in the big panel room, make sure the attendees are civilized in finding seats, asking appropriate questions to the guests, answering basic schedule info quesitons, etc….oh, and getting to watch the biggest stars hold panels! 😉 Now, I will admit, I don’t really watch that much TV, so I didn’t really know who most of the guests were, but they must have been really important people if hundreds of people backed a huge room just to see them! We had guests from shows like Supernatural, Doctor Who, Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary, Lost Girl, and the one show I actually DO watch and love – THE WALKING DEAD!

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Yup, that’s Scott Wilson, who plays Hershel on The Walking Dead. Steven Yeun (actor of Glen) was also at the con, but he sadly did not do any panels.

OH, and did I mention that the legendary STAN LEE was at eccc?

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It was like a rock concert in his panel. People screaming and cheering, rushing to find seats, packing the room. It was definitely the most memorable panel I have attended and I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to work at it.

However, I was most excited to see Veronica Taylor, who plays the voice of Ash from the original Pokemon anime series.

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Here is Veronica with her daughter (right).

I was even lucky enough to snag an autograph from her, signed to me and my big sis, on our cover for the very first Pokemon VHS.

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And now, for my cosplays!

FRIDAY: Ramona Flowers and my boyfriend Keegan as Scott Pilgrim from Scott Pilgrim comics

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Nothing too complex here. Both of our outfits were made from clothes we thrifted or already owned, but were still fun to wear! I highly recommend this for beginners, couples, and anyone on a budget or a time crunch!

SATURDAY: Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2

y2yYuna’s outfit was a bit more work to make. I altered a pre-made white tank top, sewed a white and pink lace trim to the bottom, and made the Zanarkand symbol out of this weirdly stiff ribbon. Hood made from scratch from soft pink fabric, Velcro attachments to be worn like a collar. The braid is just a long piece of cording from the home decor section of Joanns with a tassle tied to it, and it’s pinned to the bottom of the hood. The necklace and earrings were bought on ebay, and the shorts, belt, and purse from the thrift store. I made the arm bands from yellow satin, hammered in the little silver eyelets, and tied them off with skinny black ribbon. The skirt is made from blue glitter satin with a lace trim sewn on top. The fabric is lightweight and pretty, but isn’t light enough to make super flowy – it just looks pleated or gets kinda stiff if you try to make it all flowy-like, so I just made a few small pleats so it didn’t look totally pleated, but it didn’t just look like I sewed squares of fabric to each other. It wasn’t too hard to make, but it was my first time working with satin, which is VERY slippery….trick is to go verrrry slow and stick lots and lots of pins into the fabric before you sew it. Boots from Hot Topic (same boots I use in most of my pictured cosplays), laces from ebay. Guns were just plastic toys that I spray painted. Not too hard to make, but I do recommend it for someone who at least has basic sewing experience under their belt.

SATURDAY EVENING: Misa Amane from Death Note

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I own a lot of Goth clothing, so Misa is a very easy cosplay for me! The dress is from Dead Threads and was purchased at The Metro Clothing Co. The wig is actually my Fairy Tail Lucy wig (a cosplay you will see in my Sakura-con post). The only part I really “made” was the Death Note – a simple black notebook with the funky letters painted on. It’s a very simple cosplay for a Goth girl who already owns and wears this stuff frequently, but for a non-Goth, it can be a little pricey to just go out and buy Misa clothing and accessories. The dress alone was around $100.

SUNDAY: Junko Enoshima with my boyfriend as Makoto Naegi from Dangan Ronpa.

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Junko’s outfit is pretty simple, so I used mainly pre-made clothing to put it together. I altered a black button-up shirt to make her cardigan. I made it very fitted, swapped out the buttons, and used fabric paint to make the designs. I cut a black tie and a white tie, sewed them together, and made the symbol with red fabric paint. Naegi is also from thrifted clothing. I swapped out the original buttons and Keegan used red fabric paint to Naegi-ify the hoodie, which I hot glued a zipper to.

We also did Junko and Naegi for Sakura-con Saturday evening, so you will have to check out my Sakura-con post to see more! (To be posted by the end of this week!)

But enough about me! Here are some general cosplay photos I took. Sadly, I did not take very many since I was pretty busy with volunteer work.

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Thanks for reading about my cosplays and experiences at Emerald City Comicon! Please stay tuned for my Sakura-con post this week! In the meantime, do you have any questions about cosplay making? Were you at eccc and have a cool story to share? Comment below! 🙂